Contributors to this thread:
I have lucked into some private ground but it's 2.5 hours from my home, so that means after I set my stands I will be leaving them out in the woods for weeks between visits or hunts. All of my hang on stands are very expensive models and in the case of my long discontinued Vantage Point Trail Hawks, irreplaceable if stolen. Now I have means to lock my stands to the tree quite effectively to the point a thief would likely have great difficulty stealing them, but with todays cordless tools it wouldn't be impossible. So what I would like to know is how many of you who used thick, and very well made chains or cables along with even tougher locks to secure your stands and even climbing systems to the tree still had them stolen. I have access to free 3/8" hardened chain and plan on using American locks, so steeling my stands wont be a walk in the park by any means. I'm hoping a well secured stand will thwart thefts of opportunity and the fact I also plan on leaving the first 10-12' of the tree bare of climbing aids that I will install when hunting combined with a very difficult to defeat locking system will keep my stands safe from all but the most well equipped and determined thieves. I would appreciate the input from those who had stands stolen and what you did wrong that you felt might have helped the thieves and from those that feel since taking precautions like the ones I have described have not had a stand stolen, especially off of private ground. Thanks, DJager/Art
Made a mistake of leaving mine up during gun season.locked on ,and on private land.came back after gun season.stand gone,lock and cable on ground with note.it said thanks for the stand.these thieving bastards usually get your stand no matter what.same with trail cams.private property means little to them.good luck.
I think you're doing all you can and you just have to hope for the best. I would suggest not having a camera right there but leaving a note that says "smile you're on camera".
I've been lucky enough to only have had two stands stolen out of over 20 that I have up. One was within sight of an atv trail. The other was in a small chunk of woods across the street from a jackass's house.
all you can do is lock your stuff if a thief really wants it they will just cut the chain or lock and get it. i always lose one or two sets a year so in the last 30 years or so that is a lot!! price you pay for hunting public especially but i have had them stolen on private too. on public i have just had them vandalized and not stolen by douche bags too.
I went through all this years ago, on public AND private land. After a while I decided that it's just not worth all the work and stress which is why I pound the ground. It made hunting relaxing and fun again. It was when I started having the same feelings of apprehension on my way to a hunt as I would going to an IRS audit that I said to hell with it.
You're doing just about everything that you can. Make them as inconvenient to steal as possible. I have a cordless angle grinder that I can cut through any lock in a minute or two. So if they really want the, they're going to take them.
I once had a guy actually cut the tree down. If they want it they'll get it. Locks and chains do "slow" them down though.
I carry mine in and out every sit to avoid this
Don't put up expensive stands or ones that are irreplaceable. Buy a few cheap stands and hang them instead. Chances of your stands "walking" on public property are quite high.
Great thanks for the replies, all of you confirmed for me what I already suspected was the reality of the situation. The advent of cordless grinders and sawsalls has to the great dismay to us honest non-s**t bag people made cutting any lock, chain or cable a quick near effortless act of thievery. My Trail Hawk stands are pin on and can be hung or removed in 3 or less minuets. But my other hang on stands require a more complicated installation that I feel do to the noise involved are a no go for early morning hangs while still dark out. I own a Guido's Web so that is a very real option, but I'm not positive I can make it work for bow hunting. My other option for bow stands is to buy and install 18' ladder stands as they would be much more difficult to disassemble and transport out of the woods and I have access to free hardened chain and American locks so although a true PITA I could actually lock every individual ladder section to the one it mates with as well as the stand to the tree and lastly I can buy 18' ladder stands for under $70 each so loosing a $70 ladder stand would hurt much less than a much more costly hang on. I guess all I can do is my best. Thanks for the info, DJager/Art
Remember the only thing a lock does is keep an honest man honest!
A chainsaw is all they need to steal your stand.
We set up in another state but we use Chippewa Wedge Loc stands. Check them out online. We spike the trees, with permission, and just leave the chins locked in place. Very inconspicuous. When you hunt just carry your stand in with you and set it in place.
BC I have Trail hawks that attach as easily as CWL's and have removable tree steps that attach to a bolt that I used with great success in the past. using these type of steps and locking my VP/TH pin on stand I never lost a single one of my four. My only problem is my new land owner never mentioned screw in tree steps and as I am just getting to know him I am hesitant to ask any favors or ask any questions that might upset him. Lastly I have lusted aftter CWL's for years and feel they are without doubt a tie with my VP/TH's as the best hang on ever sold in hunting history but considering I already have 7 very expensive top shelf hang on TS's I simply can not justify spending well over $300 each for new stands when I can buy 4 ladder stands for the price of 1 CWL.
I learned the hard way when hunting state land and stand thieves ... sometimes I thought it was coon hunters following the bright eyes in, because the stands came up missing by the next AM...I no longer put bright eyes all the way to the stand locations... also, I now use a LW/4 sticks and what I take in, I take out, leaving nothing for the jerks to take...
I often wish I could learn to again trust climbing stands, but I had a very bad experience with one form a manufacturer I feel make the best climbers out there, and without fail the best areas I find to hunt simply have few if any trees a climber will work in. I gave an entire season of ground hunting with a bow a try, but for a host or reasons bow hunting on the ground is not for me.
cable is better then chains . but they have took both . best is not to leave it out in the open.
Wireless cameras that send you an image immediately via text is the answer. Gonna change the world as far as thieves!
I would hide some of your trail cams and catch the bastard steeling your stands, that way you actually get him for trespassing g and theft. Put your cams at the base of the tree pointed up at your stand , they'll never think if looking for a cam at the base of a tree. cover it up with Debris and when the stand goes missing call the sheriff and get the local turd who did it. The other idea is buy new cheap stands and see what happens, nothing else you can do. Once they see you parked and hunting the property it's sure sign of them looking for stands. I have kids in the hood here breaking into cars to steal change, so since I keep a good amount of change in my car I put a couple small silver spoons with treble hooks amongst the change so when and if it happens to me I can tell the police to check the hospital for some with a fishhook in their hand.
I agree with the use of cameras. Put a couple where they are watching your stands, and a couple where they are watching your other cameras. Ask everyone you know for their old broken trail cams, and use those as decoys.
I also made several signs that say: Unless they leave immediately the way they came in and do not come back, ALL Trespassers will be arrested. Also, that it's not safe to Trespass here since hunting and target shooting can be going on year round. I also mention that there are a series of 15 cameras covering the property, some of which transmit an image via cell to a remote location.
Nobody knows if you really have those types of cameras or not. I'd also suggest that you mention a number of cameras in excess of the number you really have. It takes a while for the word to get out, and you really do have to get trespassers arrested or they come back until you do, but it will help a lot. It should also make people reconsider stealing your stands.
I did have one guy who wanted to fight me because I told him he couldn't ride his quad on my land, It was fairly comical because I was standing there with a loaded shotgun and a dog. He reconsidered and left.
Know what you mean Ace. Once back when I was hunting in IL my land owner a wonderful generous older gentlemen who I had known at that point for over 12 years and was pretty good friends with (along with his sons and their families) was showing me around on a farm of his he was going to let me hunt on when we ran into a rather irate person from Joliet. This ignorant moron proceeded to tell us both to get the blank off the property as he was the nephew of the land owner and we had better leave that instant or else. This was back in the day of the bag cell phone so my land owner Harrold said we had better leave. Once back at his truck he immediately called his son and he showed up with his three brothers with quads, all armed. I was concerned things might end tragically but they simply found the guy from Joliet who was also there with friends and convinced them of their error and sent them on their way thankful to have escaped unharmed, but literally scaredcrapless out of their minds.
Ace good idea however I wouldn't mention that you have cams up, that allows them to cover up with face mask etc. I like he decoy cams but I would make sure to have the road in and out covered or ATV trails. With proper placement you get somebody on cam and fry them.
One of 2 signs on my gate. The other is a no trespass. Haven't had any visitors since I put it up. Locks and signs keep the honest people honest. The other people are just pieces of sh!t and don't care either way
If you are a non-resident, rest assured the locals will be hunting your paid for lease while your gone. Like what was mentioned above, a heavy chain and good lock seems to do the trick until they take a bolt cutter or 12 gauge to the lock. I've had best luck on public land removing all steps and leaving a twig in each hole so I can find where to thread the steps back in when I return in the early morning dark.
OK I use all ladder stands and at the top I use a 5 in of heavy chain and blot it into the tree with 2- 4 in wood bolts at the top of my stands. And with my cameras I place them up about 8 ft using some screw in steps facing down.People do not look up for cameras you be suprised who you will find out there.
Hey Darton, care to let us know where one can buy 18' ladder stands for under $70? If quality, I could use 1 or 2.
Good luck with your anti-theft efforts. My suggestion would be to only leave out a few cheaper ones the first season and see how it goes. I hunt on private and we have been pretty lucky regarding theft. I think it is just luck. Thieves can't be everywhere. Just most places.
A lot of keyboard bravado, as usual, suggesting things they've never tried. We've used climbing sticks, and taken them in and out every hunt. That at least denies 90 percent of the opportunistic thieves. A buddy uses stands that hang on a bracket, but I don't know the model. Hope the place pans out for you.
I have found that locks are there as a message to the offender that you expect thieves to be on the property, and you are expecting them to steal. The only thing you are suggesting, is that you cut this lock, and the gear is yours. I have had stands stolen. on both occasions, they were locked. They were in areas where many hunters had permission on the neighboring property. I actually feel like farm hands who pick corn or combine fields atc. are the worst thieves. They know they can be on the property due to the lease for farming, even though they don't nescesarily have hunting rights. Now I save my money and use ladder stands. I find them much cheaper, safer, and a bit more work for a thief to steal. Fool proof? No way, but more work.
I must admit I now hunt an area that is full of neighboring hunters who don't litter, trepass, or steal, and ultimately, that is a very fortunate thing to be a part of, and is localized to the group in my immediate area. A thief is almost the lowest of the lows!
Cable style locks are the easiest to cut. Good chain is hard to cut 15' off the ground, but good chain is heavy. I sell bike locks and you would be amazed how quickly a cable can be cut with simple side cutters. Can't do that to a chain, you need bigger bolt cutters.
Master padlocks are some of the worst and easiest to pick or disable. Any lock is better than no lock though.
Bullshooter, I was going to buy 18' ladder stands from Sportsman's Guide that are on sale for $63 for members., $70 for non-members and also in the on line add was a caption saying free shipping on all orders of over $49. The stands were rated for 300lbs and received a very favorable review and based on their weight of over 60lbs they should be well made, so I felt they were and unbeatable deal. I the found out there was a $10 charge for large and bulky items, so I hesitated a few days, but when I went to place my order they were out of stock. I did find what I hope is even a better stand for about $15 more (my SG membership had expired) at Manards called the Tracker DX it's 18' tall and seems well made for $95 each with tax picked up at your nearest Manards.
I've had tree climbers stolen that had locks on them. I never really understood putting cameras in the area to get pictures of would be robbers. If they do get your tree stand chances are they will see your cameras even if they are high up. Even if you do get pictures, you still have to hunt down the thief with a picture, which I would think would be very hard to do even if you offered a reward. I once had a climber stolen and put a brand new climber up the next week on the same tree. this time I put a GPS unit in the seat. Once again it was stolen but this time I was able to track down the thief with the help of the game wardens. They also confiscated his bow and other hunting gear and he was forced to pay thousands of dollars in court fines. He also lost his hunting license for a year. Was well worth the money I spent on the GPS.
TNBUCK Where does one get such GPS trackers?
I guess the reality of the situation is unless you own and live on or near your hunting land you simply must accept a certain level of increased risk of getting your stands stolen. I don't wish to sound naïve or overly foolish, but what has happened to people? I was raised that there are a great many things you simply didn't do and these things are self evident without explanation. Throughout my life I have had COUNTLESS thousands of opportunities to steal the personal property of others and chose not to. I simply am utterly incapable of comprehending why not stealing from people has become so difficult for so many.
DartonJager, I got mine from spyassociates.com. Ask for the owner. I forget what his name is but he was super helpful and if you tell him what you are trying to do, he will understand having gone through it with me.
could you just use a tile?